The unofficial end of summer is nearly here and we’re sharing some of the best things to do Labor Day weekend in Tampa Bay with the kids!
Whether you are looking for a relaxing weekend to reconnect with your family or a last hoorah for the summer, we’ve got you covered. We’re also sharing ways you can donate your time to help with Hurricane Idalia relief efforts.
- 20 + Things to Do This Weekend in Tampa Bay (For weekend-only activities and special events.)
- Florida Resident Deals at Theme Parks, Attractions, and Resorts (including Labor Day Deals)
TOP PICKS FOR THE BEST LABOR DAY WEEKEND IN TAMPA BAY WITH THE KIDS
Since we live where the world vacations, we are going to start with the most obvious thing to do this Labor Day weekend that’s absolutely family-friendly…
Cool off at a water park
It pretty much feels like the dead of summer all year long in Tampa Bay, so a water park is always a good idea, right?? We’re super lucky to call Tampa Bay home because there are several amazing water parks with at least one that’s not too far from your house.
Read all about our favorite places to slash around in our list of the best water parks for families in Tampa Bay!
Go Tubing this Labor Day
Nothing says lazy Labor Day quite like floating down a lazy river or natural spring in an inner tube. If you don’t mind a bit of a drive, these tubing spots are 2 hours or less from Tampa, and the cool water temperatures will provide a welcome reprieve from our steamy summer temperatures. Due to the storm, it is a good idea to check with each park before heading over to make sure they fared out okay after Idalia.
Make sure to plan ahead though, as parks typically reach capacity early in the peak summer months.
Labor Day lounging by a Tampa Bay pool
Treat yourself and the kids to an indulgent pool day on Labor Day to celebrate the long weekend. You can book a day pass for just the pool through sites like ResortPass. Participating hotels include Clearwater’s Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach, St. Pete’s The Don CeSar, and more.
Although beware, day passes can be extremely hard to come by on holiday weekends (…like Labor Day), especially in the summertime.
Extend your stay by booking a staycation at a local resort with a sweet Tampa Bay pool. Here are our favorite Tampa Bay hotel pools, including options for day use and those exclusive to overnight guests.
Splash and Play at the NEWLY Transformed Coachman Park in Clearwater
The weather on Sunday and Monday is forecast to be pretty nice by Florida summer standards, so why not explore a new park!
Coachman Park recently underwent a massive makeover. The Downtown Clearwater park is equipped with renovations that include a new park space, gateway plaza, pedestrian promenade, scenic overlook, playground, splash pad, and performing arts venue.
Kids of all ages will love the pirate-themed playground! The structure features an assortment of different-sized open and closed slides, climbing structures, and a wooden bridge. The playground is surrounded by sand, giving it a true pirate island-style feel. Parents can relax in the lounge chairs in the sand under the awnings while kids play.
After their adventures on the playground, kids can cool off by running through the large splash pad area or play a game of giant checkers or chess. The great lawn area is perfect for running around, playing tag or catch, or watching a free show on the stage at The Green.
You could also head over to the new-ish Bonnet Springs Park in Lakeland which opened in the last year. The 168-acre park features multiple places to play, the new Florida Children’s Museum, a treetop boardwalk, and more–all connected by a paved loop with a trolley!
Get WILD at ZooTampa!
If you haven’t been to ZooTampa in a bit, definitely make some time to go! ZooTampa was voted one of USA Today’s 10 Best Zoos in the country, amongst other awards from Trip Advisor and Travelers’ Choice. Visit the panthers from right here in Florida, see giraffes from Africa, and get up close to a Malayan Tiger from Asia.
Don’t forget they have the splash pad and Roaring Springs, so you might get wet. This is why we recommend bathing suits for the kids and a small towel. You can also plan to upgrade your day at ZooTampa to feed a giant tortoise, feed a rhino, and more!
Plan your fall adventures in Tampa Bay!
Labor Day weekend is the unofficial end of summer and that means….it’s almost, FALL Y’ALL! That’s right, we said it…in fact, we’ve been planning for it for months now!
We’ve curated a list of The BEST Kid-Friendly Halloween Events in Tampa Bay + MORE Fun! and 20+ BEST Pumpkin Patches in Tampa Bay to Visit with the Kids just for families in Tampa Bay. We’re parents too and we know we’re only sharing the places to go we know will be worth the time and effort.
We’re also dishing on a favorite event that’s BACK in 2023. While it’s not in Tampa Bay, it’s about an hour away–Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party! Event nights are selling out fast, so if you’re thinking of going, we suggest booking your tickets as soon as possible.
Play Indoors this Labor Day Weekend!
While Labor Day Weekend is ideal for some extra pool or beach time, we know it’s still pretty HOT outside! Lucky for us, there are plenty of awesome indoor places to play in Tampa Bay! You can wander around a local museum, check out an exciting exhibit, get your energy out at an indoor trampoline park, or challenge your friends to a fun day at an arcade while staying cool inside the AC.
Go experience local exhibits (before some of them leave Tampa!)
There are some cool exhibits we’ve been able to enjoy all summer including two that are about to move on to their next stops, so go and experience now before it’s too late:
- S.T.E.A.M. Team Superhero Training Academy at MOSI through September 24, 2023: The S.T.E.A.M. Team Superhero Training Academy encourages kids and their families to keep moving while demonstrating how much fun staying active can be. Put your skills to the test on the rock-wall climbing wall, surf through balance boarding, and more! This exhibit connects the physical exertion of play and exercise with lifelong learning objectives in the arts and sciences.
- See the World’s Largest Triceratops at Glazer Children’s Museum: Big John, the world’s largest fossil triceratops is now on display at Glazer Children’s Museum for a three-year exhibition. For the first time, the museum is waiving its requirement that adults attend the museum with a child, to ensure everyone has a chance to see Big John nose to snout for themselves. While you do not need a reservation to go to the museum, you will need to book a timeslot to see Big John. This will eliminate crowds so you can make the most out of the experience. Learn more about how to plan your day to see Big John the Triceratops here.
- Check out MORPH’D at The Florida Aquarium: This all-new exhibit features 18 species with unique adaptations from around the globe including axolotls! Check out the adorable axolotl, peculiar paddlefish, and charming chameleon. Located in the new Mosaic Exhibit Hall, the gallery will also feature hands-on interactives that will give you a sense of what it is like to be one of these amazing creatures, connecting you with nature in a whole new way. Included with general admission.
- See Snakes of the Essstuary at Tampa Bay Watch Discovery Center : The ‘Snakes of the Essstuary’ exhibit invites visitors on a journey to explore the fascinating world of Tampa Bay’s native snakes, shedding light on their unique characteristics, ecological roles, and the challenges they face. Visitors will meet Jack, the mimicry master Scarlet king snake; Salazar Slytherin, the Florida banded water snake that’s often mistaken for its venomous cousin; Rex, the vibrantly hued red corn snake; Neytiri, the beautiful yellow rat snake. Included in general admission.
- Check out Where Ideas Come From: Dali’s Drawings and Dali 360 at The Dali“: Head to The Dali in St. Pete to experience the new Where Ideas Come From: Dali’s Drawings. The new exhibit features 100 rarely-seen works from 1916-1974. There’s a drawing room for kids and adults to learn how to draw one of Dali’s most famous drawings and a 2D room for some fun photo ops. Make sure to head downstairs to the Stavros Education Room where kids can create their own unique pieces of art to leave there and hang up or take with them! On display now through October 22, 2023. Dali 360 is an all-new immersive experience that celebrates the life and creative genius of Salvador Dalí. This multi-sensory art experience will envelop visitors in 360 degrees of light and sound, within a monumental new space — The Dalí Dome at the Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg. Discover Dalí’s surreal landscapes, iconic melting clocks, and mind-bending illusions from throughout his lifetime in an incredibly unique way.
Go on a Sunset Boat Tour
Labor Day weekend booze cruise with sunset views…sign us up! This post about the best sunset cruises in Tampa Bay details all of our favorite sunset tours and cruises ranging from dinner cruises to dolphin watching and kayaking.
Since you likely have the kids with you on Labor Day weekend, channel your inner pirate and go cruising from downtown Tampa on the Pirate Water Taxi!
Go zip lining in Tampa Bay
Feel the need for speed?? If your family has some adrenaline junkies, then consider a day going zip lining at one of the many parks in Tampa Bay.
Several of thee zip lining parks have areas dedicated just for the youngest kiddos so they can also experience the thrill too. We’re sharing our favorite places to go zip lining with the kids on Labor Day weekend in Tampa Bay here.
Book a Labor Day Weekend Getaway!
Use the extra day off of work to plan a long Labor Day weekend getaway or staycation. From dude ranch glamping at Westgate River Ranch to a beachfront staycation at the Tradewinds Islands Resorts, we’ve dishing on all the details you need to know before you go. Or, take advantage of one of these other Florida staycation ideas.
Head to the Beach!
The gulf waters may not exactly be refreshing in the dead of summer…but if you just can’t resist the call of the sea, head to the coast for at one of our favorite family-friendly beaches for a lazy beach Labor Day in Clearwater, St. Pete or beyond.
While our beaches did experience storm surge and beach erosion due to Hurricane Idalia, some are ready to welcome visitors as early as this weekend. Just be extra patient as our beachside communities continue cleanup efforts. And, depending on where you go, it might not be a good idea to go in the water after a storm since you really don’t know what’s in there.
Have an ultimate family beach day with A Boat Day
Enjoy a private boat excursion departing from the Clearwater, Indian Rocks Beach , and Dunedin areas, this is a favorite for locals and travelers alike. See dolphins up close, explore sandbars and the pristine state park barrier islands, search for shells, snorkel for sea life, or just relax in the beautiful Gulf waters.
Professional Boat Captains are at your service to provide a safe and relaxing day for all. Choose from 7 amazing family-friendly boats, 4 FUNships which are very large, luxury pontoon boats featuring a second story and a waterslide, or 3 Deck boats which are suited to sport, speed, and lounging.
A Boat Day rental boats are perfect for family/friends reunions, Birthdays, and Bachelor/Bachelorette parties. Their Clearwater area boat trips range from a 2-hour Sunset Tour to an all-day 8-hour Adventure and can accommodate 1-50 people including the baby and their grands. A Boat Day is TripAdivsors #1 Boat Tour in Clearwater and is often described as the “best day of our vacation”, come see why!
Labor Day Weekend Events
Stay tuned for Labor Day weekend events! Keep checking back as we’ll be posting updates as events are announced.
Planning a weekend escape? Check out our guide to spending Labor Day Weekend 2023 in Orlando.